Jesus Is the Radiant Image of God

Scriptures: Hebrews 1:2 ; Colossians 2:9
by Jacob Abshire on December 7, 2015

No one stares into the sun and sees the sun.

The sun is too bright for our eyes. We use tools to dampen the illuminance of the sun. But even then, we are not seeing the sun itself. We are seeing the sun’s radiance. We take pictures and look through glasses to see what the sun illuminates. But no one has ever seen the sun.

“No one has ever seen God” either, but for different reasons (Jn. 1:18). God’s nature is so astonishing that our minds would combust under its illuminating glory. We would fall dead if we were to gaze upon the Lord (Ex. 33:20).

Still, God was not content to leave us with nothing to see and know. He desired to make Himself known. In ancient times, He revealed Himself through the prophets, says the writer of Hebrews, but in these times, “he has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb. 1:2). Jesus, the Son of God, is God’s living Word expressed to us so that we might see Him in our heart like the disciples who saw Him in person.

What did they see? What should we see? What did God say when He spoke by His Son? According Hebrews, Jesus “is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb. 1:3). Like seeing the radiance of the sun, we look on the Son and see the radiance of God’s glory. Jesus is the brilliance of God’s renown, the vividness of God’s fame. He is the perfect picture of God, the “whole fullness of deity” (Col. 2:9).

In addition to the illuminance of God’s glory, Jesus is called the exact imprint of God’s nature. When we walk through mud, we leave an imprint of our foot. When we press our hands against clay, we leave an imprint of our hands. God pressed Himself against the world and left us an exact imprint of His nature. Jesus is the imprint.

John recounts a story where Jesus taught the disciples about Himself bringing attention to His imprint of God. “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him” (Jn. 14:6-7).

This verse comes on the heels of the famous saying of Jesus, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:6). To see God the Father, you must first see God the Son. For He is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s nature. Get the picture of Christ and you will get the picture of God. God spoke, revealing Himself fully, to us by His Son. Gaze upon Him and see the Lord.

Download or purchase God Breaks His Silence, a study guide for Christmas.

A New Discipleship Resource

Creative Content for Christian Men

Instead of comments, I accept and encourage letters to the editor. If you want to write a letter to the editor, you can do so here.